No matter how careful and safe of a driver you are, car accidents happen. It is important that you take the necessary precautions to ensure the physical safety of everyone involved and to also ensure you are receiving fair compensation and are legally protected in cases of a car accident injury and personal damage. Read and save this guide to stay as safe as possible after a car accident occurs.
1. First, And Foremost, Remember to Keep Calm
Remember to breathe and try to remain calm while handling the situation. Frustration, anger, and panic can lead to an even further unsafe environment for both you and the other drivers involved in the car accident.
2. Asses Your Environment
It is very important that you do not continue driving and as soon as possible pull your car over to a safe area where you are not further impeding traffic. Check your vehicle for signs of smoking or leaking fuel and exit the car if you suspect a chance of fire. You will want to remain at the scene of the accident until appropriate to leave.
3. Check for Injuries
You are required by law to provide “reasonable assistance” to all persons involved in the accident, including calling an ambulance and administering first aid, if and only if you are trained and certified to do so. Additionally, you will want to take stock of your own injuries and call for assistance if necessary.
4. Call the Police
Involving the police is a smart choice to get a full record of the accident. They can ask the appropriate questions of all involved parties, along with gather statements from witnesses, and ensure that all hazards to ongoing traffic are eliminated and handled in the safest possible manner.
5. Exchange Information
You will likely want to exchange information, including driver’s licenses, phone numbers, license plate numbers, and car insurance information, with the other driver(s), if possible. It cannot hurt to have these details, even if the police have also gathered this information. You will want to contact your insurance company to open a claim and provide a police report number.
6. Do Not Admit Liability
Even if you think you are just apologizing to the other driver, you may be implicating yourself and accepting fault for the accident. Accidents generally happen suddenly and can cause panic and stress, so it is important not to admit to anything until all the facts are laid out and a clear cause can be identified. Depending on your state, fault may also not determine who must pay for any damages, so you will want to be cautious of admitting to legal liability. In fact, it is best not to talk about the accident to anyone, aside from your insurance company, the police, and a lawyer if you deem it necessary. You can request that your lawyer speak to the insurance company of the other driver involved in the crash, if you wish.
7. Document the Accident
Try to take photos of the damage and location of the crash, to ensure an accurate report. Even areas of a car without damage can be helpful to document, in order to protect yourself. Additionally, speak to any witnesses who are present, and ask them what they saw. Take down their names and numbers, if possible, in case they are not present when the police arrive.
8. Speak to Your Car Insurance Provider
Call your insurance company as soon as you are able to and explain to them the facts of the accident. You will want to be sure you do not lie or leave out any information when discussing the accident, to protect yourself from getting into trouble. You will also want to find your insurance company’s property damage valuation to determine how much damages are likely to cost and what insurance coverage would apply in this case.
9. Document Medical Treatment and Symptoms
It is always better to document more about the incident than less. Even if you believe you have not suffered any injuries when the crash first occurs, remember to keep track of any symptoms that arise in the days following the accident. Keep records of all treatment and/or medications that you receive from any medical professionals that treat you in the days following the accident. You will also want to document any life-style changes that the accident has caused, including missed work days or an inability to perform daily tasks due to injuries suffered from the crash.
10. Learn More About Your Legal Options
You may find yourself in a position where you feel you are not being fairly compensated by your insurance provider or are being forced to pay for damages that you do not believe you should have to. If you are in need of someone to ensure you are being properly compensated for your losses, and who will do everything they can to see that your needs are being taken care of, request a free consultation today with a personal injury lawyer.
A car accident can be traumatizing and dealing with an insurance company can be even worse – you need someone who will do everything in their power to make sure your case succeeds.
The Giroux Trail Attorneys have won millions for car accident victims over the last 25 years and because our firm is founded on the basis of diligence, hard work, and careful attention to detail. More than that, we treat every client like we would treat a family member, because we know that when your family is in crisis, you need someone who cares.
If you need to speak with an attorney about your options after an accident, click here to schedule your free consultation.Share this Article